Costa Rica is a team that deservedly defeated the United States on home ground in a World Cup Qualifier by a score of 3-1. Now, Mexico has to go in there and fight for a much-needed victory as they sit in fifth with only eight points. A win would boost them up to 11 points.
The good news for El Tri is that the home side has already guaranteed their ticket to Brazil 2014, which means that this is just a game they have to play but not necessarily win. The reasons why they would want to win is to fight for group leadership with the United States and to defeat yet another giant in CONCACAF in front of their beloved home fans.
Mexico had recently fired their coach back in September due to a plethora of ongoing poor results which has put them in danger of missing out next summer. Now, they will be led by former Monterrey boss Victor Manuel Vucetich, who knows which players to field at what times and which tactics will best fit his and the players’ known system. He is expected to be a prime fit.
If Mexico do not finish in a position that guarantees a group spot, they will have to settle for a trip to New Zealand to play in a World Cup playoff. On paper, that team is much easier than most in CONCACAF to defeat, but this game is not played on paper. They will have to enter a country in a much different time zone, which may end up affecting their game in one way or another.
Costa Rica is the favorite to win this mainly due to it being on home soil, while the Mexican roster has to get used to life with Vucetich. This game will not see either side dominating for more than a period of 10 minutes, but the advantages will favor the home side a bit more.
Prediction: Costa Rica 2 — Mexico 1
The home side plays comfortably until the end of the game, when they are mostly defending countless attacks from their visitors.